Dissident Gardens

Dissident Gardens

A Novel

Book - 2013 | First Edition
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A multigenerational saga focuses on two women: Rose, a tyrannical Communist who terrorizes her neighborhood with her absolute beliefs, and her daughter Miriam, who embraces the counterculture of Greenwich Village.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc., [2013]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780385534932
0385534930
9780307744494
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 366 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Spanning nearly a century, Lethem’s Dissident Gardens updates the American political novel – this time from the point of view of the radical left. This is not a proletarian novel, but one largely populated by upper-middle-class, educated characters struggling with political ideology and party int... Read More »

Spanning nearly a century, Lethem’s Dissident Gardens updates the American political novel – this time from the point of view of the radical left. This is not a proletarian novel, but one largely populated by upper-middle-class, educated characters struggling with political ideology and party int... Read More »

Spanning nearly a century, Lethem’s Dissident Gardens updates the American political novel – this time from the point of view of the radical left. This is not a proletarian novel, but one largely populated by upper-middle-class, educated characters struggling with political ideology and party int... Read More »

At the center of Jonathan Lethem’s superb new novel stand two extraordinary women: Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist who savages neighbors, family, and political comrades with the ferocity of her personality and the absolutism of her ... Read More »


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eusebius
Aug 31, 2019

There's a slack, dead feeling about this novel; you imagine Lethem thought it out rather than FELT it. Rose is a well drawn character but Miriam is too vague to hold your interest. The Miriam-Tommy chapters read like the liner notes from a Bob Dylan album, and are no more interesting. I read Fortress of Solitude and thought it one of the best new American novels, but this one is not worth your time.

c
Chapel_Hill_KenMc
Dec 22, 2014

A rich tapestry of characters and relationships stretching from pre-WWII American Communist Party members to postmodernist academics and Occupy activists. A portrait of dissident culture through multiple generations. Lethem's prose can be a bit heavy-handed at times, but reading this novel through is a rewarding experience.

l
lukasevansherman
Jan 04, 2014

"There was music in the cafes at night, revolution in the air."-Bob Dylan
Jonathan Lethem's newest novel, his ninth, is also one of his best. I say this as someone who has mixed feelings about him as a writer, although I prefer him to other Jonathans like Franzen and Safron Foer. This might be his most direct and sincere novel, focusing on a family of Jewish radicals in NYC over the course of many decades. The themes of leftist politics, folk music, Judaism, New York City, culture and identity are handled well, but are also very familiar and I wouldn't say he does anything innovative or revealing with them. Still, it's an enjoyable, interesting read and its recreation of the musical and political stew of the late 60s will appeal to a wide audience. Check out "Inside Llewyn Davis" for a darker and more provocative look at a similar environment (sans the politics though).

ChristchurchLib Dec 16, 2013

"A multi-generational saga that focuses on two extraordinary women: tyrannical Communist Rose, who terrorises her neighbourhood with her absolute beliefs, and her brilliant but wilful daughter, Miriam, who flees her mother's suffocating influence to embrace the Age of Aquarius counterculture of Greenwich Village." Fiction A to Z December 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=711899

k
kkelly00
Dec 06, 2013

Narrowly focused on leftists in Queens
Could not finish as it dragged

k
kathrynsawyer
Nov 15, 2013

The ebook is not compatible with kindle. Kindle users will need to check out the paper book, instead.

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